Chateau Sociando Mallet Haut Médoc 2012
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This is such a terrific value for a magnum of high quality Bordeaux. Sociando-Mallet is one of the finest, if not the finest, estate in Haut-Medoc. Planted to 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the vineyard is superbly situated overlooking the Gironde River. The style of the wine is one of inky black color, loads of concentration and plenty of tannin. 'Sociando-Mallet is the poster child for what cru bourgeois estates can achieve. This is a wine that is consistently of classified-growth quality and also one of the longest lived wines made in the Medoc.' Robert Parker
The large, 85 hectare Sociando Mallet vineyard is planted to 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. If the old adage is true, that all the best vineyards in Bordeaux have a prime view of the Gironde, Chateau Sociando Mallet, with its unobstructed view of the water from both directions has a privileged terroir. The vineyards are situated north of the Saint Estephe appellation. Being that far north in the Left Bank means they have a cooler climate than even their neighbors, just due south in St. Estephe, so they would naturally harvest later in most vintages and perform well in the hot dry years.
Although, cooler years would then, also make it difficult for the grapes to develop full ripeness. Located in the far north of the Haut Medoc appellation in the village of Saint Seurin de Cadourne, the terroir is gravel, with a subsoil of clay, sand and limestone soils. The vineyard of Sociando Mallet is planted to to a vine density of 8,333 vines per hectare. On average, the vines are close to 30 years of age.
Owner Jean Gautreau prefers to allow nature to decide on the level of the yields at Sociando Mallet. At Sociando Mallet, while they do prune in the winter, they do not green harvest or de-leaf in the summer, like most estates. The wine of Sociando Mallet is vinified in a series of temperature controlled, stainless steel vats and a small portion of traditional cement tanks. Malolactic fermentation takes place in vat. Chateau Sociando Mallet is aged in a combination of mostly 100% new, French oak barrels and the remainder is aged in tank. On average, 95% of the harvest is aged in mostly new, French oak barrels, while the remaining 5% of the harvest is aged in tank for about 12 months.
|Region||France, Bordeaux, Haut Medoc|
|Brand||Chateau Sociando Mallet|
Wine SpectatorDelivers a solid core of blueberry and blackberry fruit, with an ample coating of toast. A graphite edge courses through the finish. Score range: 88-91
Wine AdvocateOnce again proprietor Jean Gautreau has hit pay dirt with a beautiful blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Wonderfully sweet, ripe tannins seem to be a rule of thumb from this great terroir just to the north of St.-Estèphe's Château Montrose. A beautiful deep ruby/purple color, decent acidity, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel and stunning fruit put this wine right in the midst of the best classified crus from the Médoc, yet it has never been classified. Go figure. Softer than I would have suspected (and I've been following and buying this wine since the mid-1970s), this wine will still age beautifully for 10-15+ years.